Happy Thanksgiving, all….and I’d just like to say: In recent years, I have many Rhode Islanders to thank, for what’s happening in my life.
First, I thank Providence Journal Vice-President and Editorial page editor, Ed Achorn, for running my columns, monthly. In these, I hoped to give the public a window on the world of teaching. (I spun out, into other areas as well.) I thank Executive Editor of the Providence Journal, Alan Rosenberg, for featuring my Memorial Day story about my brother-in-law, Lt. Colonel Fredric Moore Mellor, Rhode Island’s first casualty of the Viet Nam war.
I thank all who invited me to speak before their groups—the American Assoc. of University Women, Leisure Learning of East Greenwich (both over 100 in audience), Allen Gammons, Greg Dantas, and David Iannuccilli, 3 broker/owners who saw the value of my book, Boomerrrang, apprising the public of how to best use the skill of a realtor; Bristol Rotary, North Smithfield Rotary, Tavern Hall Preservation Society, RI Aviation Hall of Fame, Mount Hope Farm, among others.
I thank all who bought my books and came to my guest talks, for I deeply appreciate your support.
How’d this journey begin?
In 2010, my longtime partner, Paul Wesley Gates, was hit on a mountain road by a 12-year-old girl, in a region we’d chosen for retirement— Asheville, North Carolina. He suffered a broken neck and “died” following complications of surgery. Staff brought him back, but it took two years of recovery. In that process, amazing things happened.
First, he and I published 2 Grandpa and the Truck books (link on this website) for children., based on Paul’s 30-year career as a big rig driver who traveled every state in the United States—except one.
Then, I published Boomerrrang—my book about our life in the South for 9 years.
In that capacity, I speak before audiences as to how we identified the region …the town…the home (condo or stand-alone home) for retirement. I discuss drawbacks/benefits of all. And because much of my life (30 years) was teaching junior high students, I package my “lessons” with lots of humor. I address why we rejected coastline communities…I tell why we’re not Naples, Florida types (tho’ Naples is gorgeous). I talk about the troubles for those who hopscotch between northern and southern homes in the “Two State Shuffle.” I warn why it might not be good to identify as Floridian, if you keep your Rhode Island home, too.
I tell you why we love Asheville, North Carolina. I tell you about the minstrels playing outside smaller supermarkets…the chair massages in retail stores (so very civilized). I even tell you how this older woman went hurtling through the trees and over deep chasms, ziplining with her daughter. I tell of our volunteer activities (he ran blood for the Red Cross ; I taught women in the Asheville jail) … how I broke into that same jail one night, to fulfill a promise to my women prisoners. I tell how Paul filed a Missing Persons Report on me with police. Even more stunning? Police put an APB out on me!!
I tell how a laid-back region populated with mostly older hippies, charmed us completely.
Throughout, I share what I learned.
Boomerrrang gives long-overdue credit to Rhode Island for being the winner in our ultimate choice of where to live. Oh, we made the serious attempt to leave. In the end, Rhode island lured us back. In the book, I tell why (the reasons are NOT what you think.)
Jane M. of Warwick said of my book: “Thank you for allowing me to see Rhode Island with a different set of eyes,” while a young woman who wants her Florida Mom to return to Rhode Island offered: “I’m getting this book for my mother, so she’ll consider returning.”
Boomerrrang is funny (read the reviews on Amazon). It’s touching…It shows how to get what you want (I had to fight the bureaucracy of a top hospital and neurosurgeon who kept telling me Paul was ‘fine and ready for discharge,’ when he was bat**** crazy.) It’s a quilt of humor-laced stories.
It tells you how to shop for a home…anywhere. It even tells you how to sell your home, yourself, if you’re brave (or crazy) enough to go that route.
Boomerrrang will tell you why we made the choice to return to the colder New England, after 9 years in the South.
Finally, Boomerrrang inspires for it shows how personal crises became our springboard to go higher.
Yep…This year has been one giant wave of success, affording me venues I’d never have considered. So, to all–I say “Thank you!!” To others who consider me for speaking, contact me: My plan is to go across Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts, with my message.
Please note: If you wish a personal, author-signed copy, please order through this website and put your request for how you want it signed in “Special Instructions.” To get for holiday gift-giving, you must order the personalized book by December 12th.
My book is also sold at Barrington Books in Garden City and in Barrington, the Savoy Bookstore in Westerly, Malaprops in Asheville, NC, Amazon and Kindle. In outlets other than my personal website, you can order books later than the Dec. 12thdate.
Lastly, thanks to the Dan Yorke “State of Mind” TV show for having me as guest. Below is the link to my recent guest appearance.
***Contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’d like me to speak before your group. I promise: We’ll have fun!!